Robert B. Rucker, Ph.D.

 Robert B. Rucker, Ph.D.


  • Distinguished Professor Emeritus
  • Departments of Nutrition and Department of Internal Medicine



  • M.S. and Ph.D., Biochemistry, Purdue University

Research Interests

Dr. Rucker's research focus is on the role of nutrients in early growth and development and the physiological roles of quinone cofactors derived from tyrosine, such as pyrroloquinoline quinone.

Selected past honors and activities include: President, American Society for Nutrition; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; also, American Society for Nutrition; Chair or Co-Chairperson for FASEB Summer Conferences on Micronutrients; service on Program Committees for ASN and FASEB, (e.g. planning committees for Experimental Biology meetings); Plenary Speaker at International Nutrition Congresses; service on the Executive Committees for ASN, Exp. Biol. Med. And committees for USDA, NIH and FASEB; Editorial Board service: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Journal of Nutrition, Exp. Biol. Med., Nutrition Research, Annual Reviews of Nutrition; recipient: UC Davis Medical School Oettinger Research Award, American Society for Nutritional Sciences – Bordon Research Award, Distinguished Professor Title at UC Davis (2005).  He has also served as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Nutrition Department or in various positions for the Graduate Group for Nutritional Sciences.   His research program remains active; however, he is no longer directing new students.

Selected Publications

Rucker RB, Fascetti AJ, Larsen J. Vitamins, Selected Diet-derived Factors, and Minerals In: Loeb and Quimby’s Clinical Chemistry of Laboratory Animals, 3E (Eds: Kurtz D, Prescott J, and Travlos G) 2017 in press, Taylor and Francis, New York, New York.

Rucker RB. Allometric Scaling: Theory and Applications. Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2017; 7(5); 303-313.

Rucker RB, Rucker, MR. Nutrition: Ethical Issues and Challenges. Nutrition Research 2016; 36:1183-1192.

Rucker RB. Pantothenic Acid. In: Caballero, B., Finglas, P., and Toldrá, F. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Food and Health. 2016, Vol. 4, pp. 205-208. Oxford: Academic Press.

Rucker RB, Chowanadisai W. 180. Coenzymes and Cofactors. In: Caballero, B.,Finglas, P., and Toldrá, F. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Food and Health, 2016,  Vol. 2, pp. 206-224. Oxford: Academic Press.

Rucker RB. Reactive Oxygen Species: Regulation and Essential Functions. In: Antonis Zampelas & Eirini Micha, editors-in-chief. Antioxidants in Health and Disease, 2015, Chapter 1, pp. 3-22. Taylor and Francis (CRC Press), New York, New York.

Rucker RB, Keen CL, and Steinberg FM. Vitamins and Food-Derived Biofactors. In: Neal Van Alfen, editor-in-chief. Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, Vol. 5; 2014. pp. 356-377, San Diego: Elsevier.

Harris CB, Chowanadisai W, Mishchuk DO, Satre MA, Slupsky CM, Rucker RB. Dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) alters indicators of inflammation and mitochondrial-related metabolism in human subjects. J Nutr Biochem. 2013; 24:2076-84.
Chowanadisai W, Graham DM, Keen CL, Rucker RB, Messerli MA. A zinc transporter gene required for development of the nervous system. Commun Integr Biol. 2013; 6:e26207.
Chowanadisai W, Graham DM, Keen CL, Rucker RB, Messerli MA. Neurulation and neurite extension require the zinc transporter ZIP12 (slc39a12). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110:9903-9908.

Rucker RB, Steinberg F. Vitamin C. Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry 2nd Edition (Eds: Lennarz W., Lane M.D.) 2013; pp. 530-534; Elsevier Inc., Waltham, MA.

Johnson C, Steinberg F, Rucker, RB. Ascorbic Acid. Handbook of Vitamins 5th Edition (Eds: Zempleni, J., Suttie, J., Jesse F. Gregory III, Patrick J. Stover) 2013; Chapter 14 pp. 515-549; CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Rucker R., Kathryn B. Pantothenic Acid. Handbook of Vitamins 5th Edition (Eds: Zempleni, J., Suttie, J., Jesse F. Gregory III, Patrick J. Stover) 2013; Chapter 8 pp. 325-349; CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Miller, J.W., Rucker R.B. Pantothenic Acid. In: Present Knowledge in Nutrition (Eds. Erdman JW, MacDonald IA, and Russell RM) 2012; pp. 375-390; ILSI Press, Wash. D.C.

Bauerly K., Harris C., Chowanadisai W., Graham J., Havel P., Tchaparian, E., Satre M., Karliner J., Rucker R.B. Altering Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Nutritional Status Modulates Mitochondrial, Lipid, and Energy Metabolism in Rats, PLoS One 2011 2011; 6:e21779.

Shenoy S.F., Chowanadisai W., Sharman E., Keen C.L., Liu J.K., Rucker R.B. Biofactors in food promote health by enhancing mitochondrial function California Agriculture 2011; 65:141-147.

Chowanadisai W., Shenoy S.F., Sharman E., Keen C.L., Liu J.K., Rucker R.B. Well-functioning cell mitochondria promote good health) California Agriculture 2011; 65:136-140.

Chowanadisai W., Bauerly K.A., Tchaparian E., Wong A., Cortopassi G.A., Rucker R.B. Pyrroloquinoline quinone stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis through cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation and increased PGC-1alpha expression. J Biol Chem. 2010; 285:142-52.

Tchaparian E, Marshal L, Cutler G, Bauerly K, Chowanadisai W, Satre M, Harris C, Rucker RB. Identification of transcriptional networks responding to pyrroloquinoline quinone dietary supplementation and their influence on thioredoxin expression, and the JAK/STAT and MAPK pathways. Biochem J. 2010; 429:515-26.

Starcher B., Rucker R.B. Charles H. Hill (1921-2009). J Nutr. 2009; 139:2227-9.

Rucker R., Chowanadisai W., Nakano M. Potential physiological importance of pyrroloquinoline quinone. Altern Med Rev. 2009; 14:268-77.

Rucker, R.B. Nutritional Properties of Cocoa. Chocolate: Heritage of the Americas, (Eds, Louis G & Howard S) Wiley Publishing, Indianapolis, IN 2009; Appendix 10:943-947.

Halsted, C.H., Levine, M.A., Lönnerdal, B.L., and Rucker, R.B. Vitamins and Minerals. Yamada T. Alpers DH, Kalloo AN, Kaplowitz N, Owyang C & Powell DW. Textbook of Gastroenterology, 5th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, U.K. 2009; 478-507.

Rucker, R.B., Morris, J., and Fascetti, A. Vitamins. Clinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals, Sixth Edition (Ed.: J Jerry Kaneko, John H Harvey, Michael L Bruss) Academic Press, San Diego, CA 2008; 695-730.

Rucker, R.B., Keen, C.L., and Fascetti, A. Trace Minerals. Clinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals, Sixth Edition (Ed.: J Jerry Kaneko, John H Harvey, Michael L Bruss) Academic Press, San Diego, CA 2008; 663-694.

Rudolf, J.L., Bauerly, K.A., Tchaparian, E., Rucker, R.B., and Mitchell, A.E. The influence of diet composition on phase I and II biotransformation enzyme induction. Archives of Toxicology 2008; 82:893-901.

Yang, S.J., Keen, C.L., Lanoue, L., Rucker, R.B., and Uriu-Adams, J.Y. Low nitric oxide: a key factor underlying copper-deficiency teratogenicity. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 2007; 43:1639-1648.

Rucker, R.B. Allometric scaling, metabolic body size and interspecies comparisons of basal nutritional requirements. Journal Animal Physiology Animal Nutrition, Berlin 2007; 91:148-56.

Yang, S.J., Uriu-Adams, J.Y., Keen, C.L., Rucker, R.B., and Lanoue, L. Effects of Copper Deficiency on Mouse Yolk Sac Vasculature and Expression of Angiogenic Mediators. Birth Defects Research Part B: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology 2007; 77:445-54.

Bauerly, K.A., Storms, D., Harris, C., Hajizadeh, S., Sun, M.Y., Cheung, C.P., Satre, M.A., Fascetti, A.J., Tchaparian, E., and Rucker, R.B. Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Nutritional Status and Lysine Metabolism in the Mouse and Rat. Biochimical et Biophysica Acta 2007; 1760:1741-1748.

Zempleni, J., Rucker, R.B., Suttie, J., McCormick, D., and Macland, L. (Eds) Handbook of Vitamins CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL 2007; 1-600; Chapters - Robert Rucker and Kathryn Bauerly, Pantothenic Acid 2007; 289-314; Johnson C, Steinberg F, & Rucker, RB, Ascorbic Acid 2007; 489-520.

Steinberg, F.M., and Rucker, R.B. Water Soluble Vitamins. Handbook of Food Technology, Dekker Press, NY, NY (subsidiary of CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.) 2006; 10:1-18.

Miller, J.W., Rogers, L.M., and Rucker, R.B. Pantothenic Acid. Present Knowledge in Nutrition (Eds. Ziegler EE & Filer LJ) ILSI Press, Washington D.C. 2006; 25:327-339.

Rucker, R.B., and Kosonen, T. Chemical Physical Properties of Amino Acids. Biochemical, Physiological, & Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition. [Edited by] Martha H. Stipanuk. 2nd ed., Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis 2006; Unit II: 5:90-112.

Stites, T., Storms, D., Bauerly, K., Mah, J., Harris, C., Fascetti, A., Rogers, Q., Tchaparian, E., Satre, M., and Rucker, R.B. Pyrroloquinoline Quinone: Modulation of mitochondrial quantity and function in mice. Journal of Nutrition 2006; 136:390-396.

Beckers, M.E., Lanoue, L., Keen, C.L., Rucker, R.B., and Uriu-Adams, J.Y. Abnormal development and increased 3-nitrotyrosine in Cu deficient mouse embryos. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 2006; 40:35-44.